Big Ten Football Midseason Report/ Second Half Predictions

Sayre BedingerSenior Writer IOctober 21, 2008

The Big Ten has been one of the more inconsistent conferences this season, but there has been no lack of entertainment.  Here's my take on how the season has gone so far.

Best Team

#3 Penn State (8-0, 4-0)

This team is for real college football fans.  They are rolling on all cylinders, and I think they could be a lock for the National Title game even if they lose one game from here on out.  They have outscored opponents 363-94, and have absolutely no weaknesses. 

Worst Team

Indiana (2-5, 0-4)

The Hoosiers have allowed opponents to score 200 points in their last five games, all of which have been losses.  Indiana didn't exactly have high expectations coming into the season, but allowing 40 points per game is awful.

Best Coach

Joe Paterno, Penn State

Could Joe Pa' be a better coach than us outsiders give him credit for?  I will grant him this:  The dude can recruit.  Penn State has a loaded roster and I can remember three or four years ago reading about them in ESPN the Magazine.  Scary team.

Biggest Surprise

#24 Minnesota (6-1, 2-1)

Attention college football:  The Minnesota Golden Gophers can ball!  Despite the fact that they havn't beaten any ranked teams, the Gophers have been very impressive this season, and their only loss came in a seven point defeat to Big Ten Powerhouse Ohio State.

Biggest Disappointment

Rich Rodriguez/Michigan Wolverines

No team has fallen farther off the map than the Wolverines.  Granted, they lost a lot of talent to the NFL Draft and transfers, but they are still Michigan, and the future doesn't look so bright.

Best Offense

Penn State

This is a no-brainer.  See above.  Penn State has scored 363 points, and is tops in the big ten in total yards and rushing yards per game.

Best Defense


Iowa's defense has given up only 92 points, and they have at least one interception from eight different players.  Norm Parker's unit has been one of the best in all the land so far in 2008.

Heisman Candidates

Shonn Greene, Iowa

Chris Wells, Ohio State

Javon Ringer, Michigan State

Running Back Factory?

The Big Ten features the best running backs in the nation, as they have four ranked in the top eight of Rivals' Top 25 Running Backs, and six in the top twenty.

                                              Att.          Yards                   YPC        TD 

1.  Shonn Greene, Iowa              177         1,154                6.5         10

2.  Chris Wells, Ohio State          102            619                6.1          4

3.  Javon Ringer, Michigan State  263          1,179                4.5         14

4.  Evan Royster, Penn State       116           893                 7.7         10

5.  Tyrell Sutton, Northwestern    128            699                5.5          5

6.  Kory Sheets, Purdue              130            733                5.6         10

Best Linebacker in the Country?

James Laurinaitis, Ohio State

Not only is Laurinaitis a lock for a first round draft choice, he may be well on his way to becoming an All-American.  78 tackles and 2.5 sacks so far this season have paved the way for the Buckeye standout.

As it currently stands, I think that there are at the very least six Big Ten teams that will make a Bowl, and possibly a seventh.

Look for Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State, Northwestern, Minnesota, Iowa, and maybe Illinois to all make the post-season.